We are pleased to announce the call for proposals for our climate change network plus competition. Climate change is one of our seven key research priorities. ESRC will be investing £3 million (80% fEC) over five years in one climate change network plus grant.

We expect the successful network grant to play a strategic role in bringing together relevant participants that cross disciplinary boundaries and stakeholders (particularly those from business and industry). This cross-fertilisation will help address specific climate change questions, as well as establish and maintain appropriate links with existing ESRC and other research council investments. The network is expected to commence in Jan 2019, and should work collaboratively with the newly commissioned Climate change centre.


The Network Plus should have significant industry focus to tackle the challenges of climate change, linking to the questions posed in the Nexus 2020 and boosting private sector engagement in this area. The network will have a UK focus, considering the 25-year Environment Plan, UK Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy. It will also be situated within the wider geopolitical context including implications around Brexit and the role of the private sector (from SMEs to multinationals) and social enterprise in realising the Sustainable Development Goals and commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The network will be framed in the broadest sense around a number of themes, spanning different scales (individual, social, corporate, geographical and geopolitical), including:

  • communications
  • risks and uncertainty
  • understanding and overcoming barriers
  • choice and human behaviour around climate change.

As well as providing a forum to bring all relevant actors together (including social science researchers, natural and physical science researchers and other relevant stakeholders and communities), the network would map current research activity, seed-fund small projects, run thematic workshops and rapid response reviews, and build interdisciplinary capacity. It should be a source of robust evidence that informs the productivity debate and feeds into policy and practice. Collaboration with stakeholders will be key in order to co-create evidence and outputs that meet users’ needs, such as briefing papers, thematic reports, ‘rapid response’ evidence, informational events and data visualisation.

The Network Plus will undertake three core activities:

  • engagement and networking
  • synthesis of research outcomes
  • commissioning of small grants through a flexible fund.

How to apply

Proposals to the Climate Change Network Plus competition should be submitted via the Research Council Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) System no later than 16:00 on 5 June 2018. Following peer review, shortlisted proposals will be invited for interviews early November 2018, with funding decisions available in late November 2018.

All proposals to this call must be led by a researcher at an eligible UK research organisation and will need to be submitted through the research councils' Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. Proposals will need to show 100% fEC of the proposed research.


  • Call for proposals open – 1 March 2018
  • Town hall and networking event – 19 April 2018
  • Call closes – 16:00 on 5 June 2018
  • Shortlisting panel meeting – early October 2018
  • Interview panel meeting – early November 2018
  • Applicant outcomes communicated – late November 2018
  • Grant starts – 1 January 2019

Call documents